Monday, February 23, 2009

Freshwater Streams

Where do we draw the line between sanctity and sacrifice? Between commitment and compromise? How much compromise is healthy? How far do I run with idealism before it starts weighing me down? On what wings will I fly? Whose promises will I believe?

Sometimes it seems I'm working for Greenpeace while dumping oil in secret freshwater streams.

Lately, it seems marriage is for everyone else. That it's something true and good for them but not for me. Not because I wasn't designed for it, but because of my oil-dumping, you see.

A good friend told me that "a woman's heart must be so taken by God that I have to go to Him to get it."

What a beautiful metaphor. for everyone else.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

America and the American.

America is changing. Collectively, independently, completely. With it, the American is changing.

For me, the most heartbreaking change has not been the economy itself, but what we're finding in the wake of such a massive splash.

The American landscape has suffered a Pangea-sized economic earthquake and will be changed forever. The outlook, whether eventually positive or negative, is inarguably and radically alien.

The American ideal, once fortressed by pages of historical success stories is being crashed against; wave, after wave of desperation. Now, the country built on hyper-idealism is having it's head dunked in it's own ice-cold water.

But still, I think the most heartbreaking blow has been to the average American spirit. Each of us, for all of our lives have been told that we can be "anything we want." Selfish-ambition praised as virtue. Self-sacrifice praised as necessary. Owning your own company has long been termed the "American ideal." We're a nation built on small-business owners. And most of it, whether deserved or not, has evaporated.

Maybe our egos have too-long been as inflated as our credit limits. Our security has been in home equity and our anxiety tempered by the ease of withdrawing from it.

Everyday I wake up to a different news piece chronicling a different national collapse and the subsequent lament of the average American tax payer. Honestly, it's scary; I think for the first time we're all tasting the bitter taste of our own blood.

I think the one cloudbreak throughout this storm is that, for better or worse, we're seeing the widespread and very public failure of so much greed. We're all lined up watching the American balloon lose air.

We wanted to be the guy in the Mercedes until we realized he's been falsifying our investments and draining our retirements.

We wanted to be the guy neglecting family and friends to grow his construction business.

We wanted to be the guy in the movies, until we realized he wanted to be us.

I'm predicting (and praying for) a return to values. Where we save money competitively. Where our lives are defined by friendship rather than ownership. Where our popularity comes from our simplicity. Where meals out with two people become meals in with 10 people. Where passion replaces ambition, and its intensity raised exponentially.

The shallows are drying, leaving us exposed. We have to dive in, and we have to dive deep because the next wave is coming.

More to come. Thoughts?